Dante makes no mention of parking-meter maids in the The Divine Comedy, which can only be chalked up to the times; had the Italian poet written his magnum opus today, he would have placed citation-writing officers somewhere between panderers and traitors on the Inferno-meter. Cecilia Miniucchi’s oddball drama doesn’t ask for sympathy toward these hated civil servants, especially since the film’s alpha maid, Jay (Patric), embodies every testosteronized-cop cliché imaginable. His colleague, the mousy Claire (Morton), is a more likable representation—she actually apologizes to the drivers screaming profanity at her—though this pathetic, passive creature isn’t a poster child for image rehabilitation, either. Since opposites are destined to attract, Jay and Claire awkwardly court each other, and we get a ringside seat to a budding romance based on a lack of social graces and mutual self-loathing.
Once this Minnie and Moskowitz of meter-jockey movies goes from displays of public outrage to private bouts of quirky abusiveness, however, the movie only leaves you wondering how low it can stoop. The real shame of Expired isn’t its ultimately pointless nastiness, but the waste it makes of two great actors. Both Patric and Morton give brazenly fearless performances, yet these talents are left tangoing to a tune that’s nowhere near worthy of them.